page 086 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_086.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 4-086

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_086.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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But by 1946 all these events, as important as they are in the political evolution of our people, lay in the past. Few of us had seen them or actually knew the personalities involved and we were able to recapture the dramatic atmosphere in which they occured. The 1946 campaign however, was taking place under our owneyes. We followed the parliamentary debates on the Ghetto Law (that is, the Asiatic Land Tenure Act), statements issued by Indian leaders, witnessed the sabre rattling, the approach of the actual conflict and its final uotbreak. It was our contemporaries, some of whom we knew quite well, who defied. It was my friend Ismail Meer and J.N. Singh, who suspended their studies, said goodbye to me and went to jail. Even high school students like Ahmed Kathrada and other left their names into their history of South Africa. Luxmi Ranchod, a thirteen year old girl in Standard VI, left school and went to jail a couple of times.

The campaign was confined to the Indian community and the participation of the other sections of the population was not encouraged. Nevertheless, the campaign attracted the support of the other groups. Dr. Xuma, president of the ANC, and the other African leaders, spoke at several meetings and gave full support to the just struggle of the Indian people. Joshua Makue, a leading member of the Germiston branch of the ANC, Cissie Gool, a Coloured City Counsellor from Cape Town and the Reverend Michael Scott,a white priest, also joined the campaign and went to jail.

Another issue that loomed very large in 1946 was that of unity. Black leaders have always been aware of its importance and of the dangers of a divided movement. The formation of the ICU in 1920 brought together thousands of black workers in one organisation, followed in 1927 by Dr.

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